What To Watch On TV Now

What To Watch On TV Now

FINDING A TV SHOW TO SHARE WITH YOUR FRIENDS HAS NEVER BEEN HARDER. FOR STARTERS, THERE'S TOO MANY OPTIONS AND YOUR FRIENDS ARE TOO DAMN PICKY. SAVE YOURSELF THE HEADACHE WITH OUR HANDY TV GUIDE FOR WHAT TO WATCH WITH THE DIFFERENT PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE

FINDING A TV SHOW TO SHARE WITH YOUR FRIENDS HAS NEVER BEEN HARDER. FOR STARTERS, THERE'S TOO MANY OPTIONS AND YOUR FRIENDS ARE TOO DAMN PICKY. SAVE YOURSELF THE HEADACHE WITH OUR HANDY TV GUIDE FOR WHAT TO WATCH WITH THE DIFFERENT PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE

Text: JAMES DEFEBAUGH

For the self-absorbed cosmopolitan twenty-somethings: Girls, Season 5

Every hater's secret favorite gang of privileged, millennial narcissists is back and true to form as ever this season, with Hannah self-sabotaging her great new job and relationship, Marnie having her perfect Brit.co-ready country wedding, Shoshanna jabbering up Japan, and Jessa air-drying her naked body by running through a meadow after bathing in a ravine.

For the self-absorbed cosmopolitan thirty-somethings: Love, Season 1

Judd Apatow's latest, Love, is kind of like if Girls moved to L.A., got a more professional job, became an alcoholic and kept making the same terrible decisions over and over again with middling results.  Naturally, we recommend it.

For the yaaaaasssss queens: Rupaul's Drag Race, Season 8

Rupaul's winning formula of [America's Next Top Model levels of cattiness x 1,000] + [Project Runway-gone-drag fashion] = [the only reality television competition show consistently worth watching] continues to wow even as the show reaches its landmark 100th episode.  Get it, Ru!

For the telenovela-level drama queens and pregnant girls: Jane the Virgin, Season 2

By melodramatizing the mundane frustrations of mothering a newborn with its heightened reality (of accidental artificial insemination, acid spills, and evil plastic surgery cartels) rather than shying away from it as most shows do, Jane the Virgin continues to perform miracles this year--the most impressive of which is its ability to keep the steam rolling at full force during its second season as a nighttime soap (a time that usually signals fizzling and viewer drop-off for the genre.)

For the cutthroat politicos and embittered divorcées: House of Cards, Season 4

The only thing crazier than the idea of Donald Trump buying his way to the White House is Kevin Spacey's Frank Underwood murdering his way there.  Fortunately, the latter is much more entertaining and less cringeworthy.  The big question this season: will Robin Wright's equally cutthroat Claire continue to be his Melania?

For the 90s obsessed: American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson

We don't know whether O.J. killed Nicole (though we have our suspicions), but we do know that sudsy anthology series mastermind Ryan Murphy is at his best in showrunning this historical true-crime drama, which smartly doubled down on the trending 90s nostalgia by portraying the key players of the infamous trial with 90s stars like John Travolta (Pulp Fiction) as Robert Shapiro, David Schwimmer (Friends) and Selma Blair (Cruel Intentions) as a pre-famous Robert and Kris Kardashian, and Cuba Gooding Jr. (Jerry Macguire) as The Juice himself.

For the super spy spouses: The Americans, Season 4

The only thing that involves more hidden messages, delicate maneuvering and dual identities than working as a secret agent is being married--and no TV show has ever  understood that quite like The Americans does.  So say nyet to Netflix-ing Mr. and Mrs. Smith, because Cold War-era Soviet sleeper agents Elizabeth and Peter Jennings (richly portrayed by Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys) of The Americans are espionage's real it-couple.  Bonus: Amazon Prime and other streaming services have just added all of season 3 so that you can catch up in time for season 4, which premieres this week.

For Breaking Bad junkies in need of a fix and a "morally flexible" attorney: Better Call Saul, Season 2

Given that spin-offs and prequels tend to be widely panned by critics as redundant cash cows, many were unsure how to take AMC's announcement that they would be following up their critical darling Breaking Bad with a spin-off centered around the early days of Bob Odenkirk's Saul Goodman (who primarily served as comic relief in Bad).  But alas, showrunner Vince Gilligan has done it again, weaving yet another tragic but gripping tale of a once conscientious character's slow descent into moral decrepitude.  V, for one, is strangely thrilled to be back in Albuquerque.

For anyone with a beating heart: Transparent, Season 2

In what is perhaps one of the strongest second seasons of any show to date, Maura and the L.A.-based Pfefferman clan take on transphobia once more as well as marriage, pregnancy, estrangement, kink, keeping up with the Joneses, Second-Wave Feminism, Weimar Germany, Hollywood, and all manner of privilege.  Watch it with anyone except for the hopelessly prejudiced relatives you wish you didn't have to see at holidays.

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